Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I did it!

I figured out how to get a photo banner with words on it onto the blog! I'm busy patting myself on the back now...

Bloxorz update: I'm on level 33, the last level. Several people, including 10-year-olds, have crowed about finishing. I'm trying to ignore the humiliation (and the game) but you can tell it's eating at me.

I've finished my Autumn top for the 4 seasons swap -- now I have to get busy and quilt it. I'm going on vacation at the end of next week, so it might be this weekend's project. We're having a bit of a heat-wave here, and the idea of quilting anything is not too appealing, but if I've gotta quilt something it might as well be a mini! Here's a picture -- autumn to me has to include pumpkins. Of course I can't say who's going to receive this one...

Monday, August 20, 2007

I 've got lots of progress to report on small things, because I'm still paralyzed at the thought of quilting my queen-sized jewel box quilt and I'm doing other stuff to compensate. Just like the way I used to get excited about scrubbing the kitchen floor rather than study for finals when I was in college...

First up is a quilt top made from birthday blocks from a swap last year. All the blocks have fruits and vegetables from one line of fabric. I didn't like the blocks as a group until I decided to use different colors to frame them, and now I think it's pretty sweet! I think this will be a tablecloth for my kitchen -- we have a big round 1950's formica table with a metal pedestal base that's perfect for this kind of cloth. This is a little quilt from Ami Simms' "Twisted Sister" pattern. I bought the templates years ago and made the top last year. I'm calling it "Baby Sister goes Psychedelic" and it will probably go to one of the charity spots. I love the pattern but have to admit I had a hard time getting it to go together well. All my blocks had to be trimmed down because nothing matched up and they were all different sizes. Someday I'll give it another try with a little more attention to cutting detail...
These are Larrianne's blocks for this year's Row Robin project that one of my online groups is doing. I made the bottom row -- all the blocks are 4". I love this color combination and it's going to be a really cute little quilt. Next month's row is in 30's prints, so I'll have something really different to work on!
And finally, time for something completely different! This is a crocheted bathmat from the book called "One Skein", made out of variegated Peaches & Cream cotton yarn. We're just finishing up a big two-bathroom remodel (remind me never to do that again!) and this is the guest bath. I'm working on a mat for the master bath too, in a different pattern, and not really liking it so far. (ignore the blue painter's tape -- it's gone now)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

guilty pleasures

I'm officially launching a new meme, just because I feel like it. It's called "guilty pleasures". Aren't there some silly / dumb / embarrassing things you love to do but don't necessarily want your friends to know about? Pick three, or five or seven, and tell your fellow bloggers about them. Here are mine:

1 - corn nuts: I love 'em. Occasionally have a bag open in my car. (for those of you outside the US, these are large baked & salted kernels of corn/maize sold as a snack)

2 -America's Funniest Videos: this show is SO stupid but I find myself ROFL every time. Tonight they had a phallic tomato, dogs licking the mouths of sleeping humans, and the usual complement of people getting whacked in the groin. America at its best!

3 - Cosmopolitan magazine: even though I'm well past the age where I give a damn about most of the stuff in there, I always buy the current issue when I'm in an airport -- I'm convinced that the plane can't possibly go down when I'm reading it, and I love watching the people next to me try to read over my shoulder when I get to the sex articles.

Tag -- you're it: Nancy (near Philadelphia), Jenni (Fairybread), Cheri (Jovaliquilts)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

my new look:and my husband: okay, enough of that madness! Cheryl wrote recently about trying some of Ruth MacDowell's piecing methods, and when I told her I had taken a "vegetable" class she asked for a picture...
I made these several years ago, and I'd probably have to struggle to remember exactly how it works... but I'd love to make more of them. The book includes straight line and curved versions of most of the veggies. The straight lines are a little easier, but since she doesn't put any emphasis on the curved seams matching those aren't too bad either. It took me a whole afternoon at my mini-group to put the asparagus spear together!

I think if I leave these up on the wall for a bit I'll get inspired again.

Also, Dianne left a comment on a previous post about the 4-patch stack & whack quilts that my group had made, but the message came through with no email address. So -- you can make the blocks any size. It sort of depends on the size of the print you're working with: larger prints look better with larger blocks. I think I cut mine at 5" square so the blocks end up being 9" finished. Honestly, you don't need a pattern... but if you want to look at any of the stack & whack books to get more pictures of the concept it couldn't hurt.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

bits of progress

I'll just start out with an artful pose by Bucky -- usually he turns around just as I'm clicking the shutter button. He's surrounded by quilting debris, as always. The thing on his collar is a magnet for the cat-door, which is supposed to keep raccoons out but doesn't succeed.
This is a mini library quilt I'm making for the treasurer of my local Friends of the Library organization. Carl has been on the board for a very long time, and has been treasurer for much of that. He's having some health problems and is "retiring" in November, although I'm sure he'll show up for board meetings. He's an incredibly generous and intelligent and witty fellow.
Last but not least, I finished up a baby quilt for my newest nephew, Griffin. I don't know if it makes any sense to send a quilt to New Orleans in August... but I did it anyway!

As you'll note in my sidebar, I joined the 4 seasons mini quilt swap. As if I didn't have enough obligations already, plus a 2-week vacation coming up in September. Since my hubby is traveling constantly (2-1/2 weeks in China right now, for work) I figured I might as well go for it! I don't know who I'm making a quilt for, yet, but I already have a good idea of what I'm going to do.

I'm toying with the idea of renting a sewing machine for a week when we're in Hawaii. We've been there often enough that I know there's practically nothing to do in the evenings where we stay, and Al will end up wanting to do some work part of the time and I'll get tired of reading... has anyone tried the rental thing?

and an update: Bloxorz level 31. Worse than ever.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Vision Thing

First, an apology for the long silence.

Next, a rant about aging. Specifially about eyesight. This may be just about my least favorite part of getting older -- (other than my expanded waistline, that is. I always used to have a waist, no matter how big my butt was!)

I always had "perfect" vision, unlike every other member of my family. My dad and one brother were/are practically blind without glasses; my sister has had RK and still needs glasses. Not me... until I crossed the "40" threshhold. Then my distance vision got wobbly and I ended up with glasses for driving and movies.

Fast forward a few years. I'm taking classes at night that involve looking at slides projected on a screen across the room, and at my notes -- can't see either! Yuck -- bifocals. (I tried the progressive lenses but they just made me dizzy.)

Now, at the age of 55, my distance vision has miraculously corrected itself, but I have about 10 pairs of drugstore reading glasses scattered around my house, my car, my purse, the offices I work in... and I still can't find a pair when I need them -- which is almost always. On top of that, now the computer screen is blurry but the reading glasses don't help because it's too far away. I have an eye checkup on Saturday -- first one in about 4 years) and I know I'm going to end up with more glasses...

No quilty content today, but I promise to take some pictures of things I'm working on and post them soon.

Bloxorz update: stuck on level 30. forever. maybe new glasses will help?